CS Interview: Lisa Whelchel Talks Special Star Wars Edition of Collector’s Call
MeTV’s Collector’s Call, hosted by Lisa Whelchel, is currently airing its second season and features a fascinating look at a number of pop culture collectors around the country. This week, Lisa travels to the home of mega Star Wars collector Eric Pfeifer, who shows off his vast collection of memorabilia. To celebrate the occasion, ComingSoon.net reached out to talk with Lisa about the show and this particular episode.
Here’s the official synopsis for the show: MeTV Network, America’s No. 1 classic television network, proudly presents its first original TV series, Collector’s Call. Hosted by Lisa Whelchel (Blair on The Facts of Life), the unscripted series introduces you to some of the biggest collectors of pop culture memorabilia in the country.
Collector’s Call airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. PT on MeTV.
ComingSoon.net: Collector’s Call is off to a great start! After a 13-episode first season, you guys are back in season two with 26 episodes. Were you surprised by the show’s success?
Lisa Whelchel: You know, I can’t say that I was surprised because I really did feel like as long as somebody could tune in and watch it, I mean, they would fall in love with it as much as I did. I didn’t anticipate enjoying doing this show as much as I have. And I think I felt the same way about the audience, that if they would give it a try, if they would get as hooked in as me, because there’s just so much about this show that is just delightful. And I mean that in a very positive way in that there’s so much on television I think now that we can end up just going to bed feeling dark and dirty and it doesn’t lift us up. And this show, because most all of the collections are tied to the collector’s childhood, and lets us as viewers get to kind of glimpse parts of our own childhood. And if it’s not something that we can relate to personally from our own childhood, then there’s a whole aspect of learning about a subculture that we didn’t know about before. We could go deep into and begin to appreciate it. So there’s just so much about the show that makes it fabulous that I was only surprised in that I was glad that enough people tuned in to get as hooked as I knew they would be.
CS: How many collectors call you on a weekly basis? And how do you determine which ones to visit and bring on the show?
Whelchel: Yeah, great question. I don’t know. I know that there is a very robust website, a Collector’s Call website and the Facebook page, because collectors, one of the great things I’m learning about these collectors is what it comes with is a built in community because if you have a shared passion of collecting something, then you’re instantly going to have something to talk about. And so many of these collectors have incredible friendships and incredible communities. And so, all of these little communities are now joining in and making one big community on the Collector’s Call website. And so, I do know that there are a lot of collectors who are sending in pictures of their collections. And I know the producers are having pretty much a full-time job just kind of going through them and finding one that we can go visit in person.
CS: You guys have a special Star Wars episode coming up that looks absolutely amazing. What can you tell us about that episode?
Whelchel: Well, I think one of the best things about this collector, we have some collectors that are more about quantity. Some collectors are more about quality. And this particular collector, Eric and his mom, it’s really a great combination. This is a beautiful collection. It’s a beautifully displayed collection. His entire house, every room in the house is like a Star Wars museum. There’s whole Star Wars conventions at his house. And the basement, it’s like the best Star Wars —okay, if Toys “R” Us only sold the Star Wars memorabilia and collectibles, that’s what it would feel like you’re walking into. So it’s just a pretty beautiful and amazing collection all the way around. And for someone to be so young to have started, and I can’t help but feel just a real affinity for his mom because obviously she helped him find something that made him feel special as a little boy, gave him some purpose, gave him something to be kind of unique about him, to give him something to get up in the morning and do. And she really nurtured that. And he’s made a little business out of it. So I’ve got to say hats off to his mom as well.
CS: Okay, so what was the coolest piece in his collection that you saw?
Whelchel: Oh my gosh.
CS: Because I saw that he had a giant billboard in his backyard?
Whelchel: Okay, so many. I’m just going to say, I don’t even think they’re going to put this on in the edit because Me-TV is very family-oriented and Collector’s Call is very family-oriented. What I thought was the coolest piece, because it’s just off the wall crazy, was there were Star Wars condoms. And on the logo was “I’m not your father.” It said, “I’m not your father” or whatever. It was just crazy, creepy and hysterical all at the same time.
CS: Do you geek out over any of this stuff?
Whelchel: You know, I’m not geeking out over it because I’m not a collector. I actually by nature kind of simplify things, so a little bit more austere in my home. But I sure do love going into somebody else’s home and enjoying it and appreciating it. But I am a life-long learner, and so, that’s I think one of the things I love about this show the most is that I learn so much about a subculture with every single show. And so, if it’s a collection that kind of taps into my own childhood, like we did some on toys from my era, and there’s some other things, the Charlotte Ray collection, obviously, that we do tap into my own history and childhood. But more often than not, I love it because it’s things that I wouldn’t collect, but anytime you go deep into a subject, it’s fascinating. And these collectors have gone deep into it.
CS: I take it then that you didn’t steal that Jar Jar Binks in carbonite toy that he had, right?
Whelchel: I did not steal anything, no. (Laughs.)
CS: Okay, so and you touched on it a little bit, but so what are these collectors like in person after talking with them and stuff? Was there one in particular that really stood out to you?
Whelchel: I would say mostly these collectors, they’re just joyful. And one of the reasons I think is because they really have something that gets them up and out of bed every morning. They’re either waiting for a package from UPS or something they bought or there’s an auction online that they’re monitoring or they’re scouring, you know, going to different places, whether it’s online or auctions or garage sales or trade shows, looking for the holy grail piece. So these collectors are just full of joy and purpose. And I’m a life coach the majority of the time. That’s what I do for my base—that’s my base career. And so many people come to me as a life coach looking to find their purpose and their passion. And these collectors have already found it in spades.
CS: What else do you have in store for the rest of the season that audiences can look forward to?
Whelchel: Oh my goodness. We have, well, I think you’ll have to stay tuned, because we do have one really fun thing under wraps, but they’re not quite ready to announce it yet. The James Bond collection, that just aired pretty recently. That was pretty fascinating. We have other ones too like Pac-Man, board games, The Beatles, superheroes. I’m a big board games fan myself, so that was a really fun one for me.
CS: That’s awesome. I’m excited to see the Star Wars episode. I’m definitely going to tune in to check it out because I’m a big time fan of that kind of stuff.
Whelchel: Oh good. You’ll love it, yeah, you’ll love it. You’ll want to go visit and be a part of one of his conventions.